Decadent Dulce De Leche Recipe – Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Hey there, cooking enthusiasts! Get your aprons and utensils ready for this mouth-watering recipe I’ve got for you today. If you’re someone who loves sweet indulgences, then this one is definitely for you. Today’s recipe is a delicious homemade Dulce De Leche that will surely elevate the culinary experience of any dessert.

Now, Dulce De Leche literally means “sweet milk” in Spanish and is a sauce made from condensed milk and sugar. Traditionally, it is slowly cooked over low heat to achieve the desired consistency and flavor. However, today we’ll be using a quicker method suggested by none other than Alton Brown, the famous American chef.

This recipe has become quite popular among foodies and dessert enthusiasts because of its delicate flavor profile and versatility. It can be used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or even stirred into coffee for a sweet twist. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, use it as a cheesecake filling or in Tres Leches cake! Trust me; the possibilities are endless.

So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get started because with just a few simple ingredients and quick steps, you can now make Dulce De Leche at home that tastes just like the traditional one from Argentina. Get ready to have your taste buds dancing in delight while satisfying your sweet tooth all at once!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Good Eats Dulce De Leche
Good Eats Dulce De Leche

Some recipes are good, others are great; and then there is this Dulce De Leche Recipe that will blow your mind! If you haven’t had Dulce De Leche before, you are in for a treat. If you have, then you know what all of the fuss is about!

First things first, let’s talk about what Dulce De Leche is. It’s a sauce made from slowly heating sweetened condensed milk until it thickens and caramelizes. The result is a rich, toffee-like sauce that can be used as a topping on ice cream, as a filling in cakes and cheesecakes, or simply enjoyed by itself with a spoon!

Now let’s talk about why you’re going to love this recipe. For starters, it’s an Alton Brown recipe from his show Good Eats, which means it’s been tested and approved by one of the best chefs out there. Secondly, this recipe only requires five ingredients: whole milk, sugar, vanilla bean, baking soda, and sweetened condensed milk. That’s it!

But what really sets this recipe apart is the process. Instead of using a slow cooker or sous vide method that can take upwards of eight hours, this recipe will give you delicious Dulce De Leche in just 2 hours! It’s all thanks to the addition of baking soda that helps speed up the caramelization process.

So whether you’re looking to impress guests with a traditional Argentine dessert like Tres Leches Cake or Cheesecake made with Dulce De Leche, or if you just want to elevate your ice cream game, this recipe will not disappoint. Trust me when I say that once you try homemade Dulce De Leche made with this recipe, you’ll never go back to store-bought again!

Ingredient List

 Behold the caramel-y goodness of homemade Dulce de Leche!
Behold the caramel-y goodness of homemade Dulce de Leche!

Let’s talk about the ingredients needed to make this Dulce De Leche recipe. The ingredients are simple, but the process is slightly time-consuming, so it requires patience and attention to detail. You will need:


  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
  • 12 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda

Make sure you have all of these ingredients on hand before you start making this Dulce De Leche recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 This is what dreams are made of - homemade Dulce de Leche.
This is what dreams are made of – homemade Dulce de Leche.

Now that you have gathered all of the ingredients, let’s get to cooking. This recipe is very simple and easy to make, but it does require some patience. The key to making good dulce de leche is to cook it slowly and keep stirring it occasionally to prevent it from burning.

Step 1: Prep your ingredients


  • 1 quart whole milk (12 ounces)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Before starting with the cooking process, make sure that all of your ingredients are measured out and ready to go. Split the vanilla bean in half, revealing the seeds inside. Combine the milk, sugar, baking soda, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4 quart saucepan.

Step 2: Cook slowly

Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Keep stirring occasionally for the next 2-3 hours until the mixture turns into a caramel color – this is your dulce de leche. Make sure you do not cook it too fast, as that could result in burning or caramelization before the sugar has fully dissolved.

Step 3: Cool and store

Once the coloring of dulce de leche is achieved, transfer it into an airtight container or jar and let it cool at room temperature. Once cooled, store it in a refrigerator until needed.

Congratulations! You have successfully made homemade dulce de leche! You can use it straight away as a dessert topping or filling for cakes and pastries such as cheesecake or Tres Leches cake. You can also serve it with ice cream or drizzle over graham crackers to get a perfect sweet snack.

Fun Fact: In Argentina, dulce de leche is so popular they have created a variation of milk jam called dulce de leche banana cream reminiscent of American peanut butter and jelly — it’s a traditional combination south of the border.

Now that you know how to make homemade dulce de leche, experiment with it in your desserts and share your creations with family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 With just a few ingredients, you can make Dulce de Leche from scratch.
With just a few ingredients, you can make Dulce de Leche from scratch.

Hey there, I know some recipes can be quite restrictive with their ingredients, but fear not! There are a few substitutions and variations for this Dulce de Leche recipe that you can experiment with.

Firstly, if you’re lactose intolerant or looking for a vegan alternative, you can use coconut milk or almond milk instead of whole milk. It will give the Dulce de Leche a unique flavor and add a tropical twist to it.

Additionally, if you’re not a fan of vanilla bean or want to try something different, you can infuse the Dulce de Leche with cinnamon sticks or even orange zest to give it an extra kick of flavor. You can also add a pinch of sea salt to balance out the sweetness and add some depth to it.

For those who are on a low sugar diet, you can use natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. The texture of the Dulce de Leche may be slightly different compared to using sugar, but it’ll still have that caramelized flavor that we all love.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use Dulce de Leche as an ingredient in other desserts as well. It makes an excellent topping for cheesecake, chocolate cake or even ice cream. Or if you want to go big, you can create an Argentinian inspired Tres Leches Cake by using Dulce de Leche as one of the three milks.

The possibilities are endless. Take your time to experiment and find your favorite way to make dulce de leche!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a sugar rush as you make this incredible Dulce de Leche recipe.
Get ready for a sugar rush as you make this incredible Dulce de Leche recipe.

Now that your dulce de leche is ready, let’s talk about how to serve and pair it. This delicious sauce is so versatile and can be used in many ways to add sweetness and flavor to your favorite desserts.

One classic way to enjoy dulce de leche is by using it as a topping for ice cream or whipped cream. A scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream covered in a generous spoonful of warm dulce de leche will make your taste buds dance with joy. You can also drizzle it over cheesecake or mix it into your tres leches cake recipe for an extra indulgent dessert.

Another fun way to use dulce de leche is in a banana cream pie. Layer graham crackers, sliced bananas, and the sauce made with dulce de leche and sweetened condensed milk for a twist on the classic American pie.

For something more exotic, try making alfajores – traditional Argentinean cookies filled with dulce de leche. The slightly crunchy exterior of the cookie combined with the soft and sweet interior of dulce de leche makes for a heavenly treat.

But why stop at desserts? Dulce de leche can also be used as a sweetener for your morning coffee or tea. Spoon some into your cup and take your beverage to the next level.

Whether you are serving a fancy dinner or a casual get-together, dulce de leche is always a hit. It pairs well with wine, particularly Moscato or other sweet dessert wines like port or sherry. For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, try pairing it with a hot chocolate or espresso.

Overall, the serving possibilities of dulce de leche are endless. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different ways to incorporate it into your favorite dishes!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Listen up Foodies! Once you’ve made this creamy and sweet Dulce De Leche recipe, you’re going to want to keep it for later munching sessions. The Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating of this luscious treat is easy as pie (no pun intended). Here are a few tips to ensure that you always have some Dulce De Leche on hand.

Firstly, if planning to make ahead or store, it is important to note that Dulce De Leche can last up to three weeks when kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Keep in mind that the consistency might change over time but the flavor will remain unchanged.

To reheat your dulce de leche, simply microwave it for a minute or two until it loosens up a little. Once heated, give it a good stir to smoothen out any lumps or hard bits that may have formed during storage.

If making this recipe in larger batches, feel free to freeze portions of it for later use in various dessert recipes like cheesecake, ice cream, and even Tres Leches Cake. When freezing your dulce de leche, be sure to use an airtight container or freezer bag and store it for up to 6 months.

Last but not least, while we’re all about being creative with our food choices here, it’s crucial to note that reheating Dulce De Leche using the sous vide method might cause the milk proteins and sugars to seize causing grainy texture. So, stick with microwaving instead!

Congratulations! You now have everything you need to make and keep delicious Dulce De Leche at home. Don’t compromise on taste by settling for store-bought jam when you can make your own homemade Dulce De Leche like a pro!

Tips for Perfect Results

Cooking is an art and like all arts, it requires some skills to master. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I consider myself an expert in making Dulce De Leche recipe. In this section, I will be sharing with you some tips that will help you achieve the perfect results with this recipe every single time.

First and foremost, always use a good quality vanilla bean for the best flavor. It is better to invest in high-quality vanilla beans than to compromise on the flavor of your dulce de leche by using a low-quality one. When choosing vanilla beans, look for plump and moist ones that are soft to the touch. A fresh vanilla bean should have a strong, sweet aroma that is a precursor of its delicious flavor.

Another important tip is to add a pinch of baking soda while cooking the milk and sugar mixture. This simple addition can prevent crystallization of the sugar and ensure that your dulce de leche turns out smooth and creamy all the way through.

To prevent scorching or burning of the milk sugar mixture, make sure to stir regularly throughout the cooking process. Do not leave it unattended for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It is also essential to regulate the heat so that it remains on low-medium – heat for approximately 1-2 hours (depending on quantity) until it turns into a rich caramel color.

Finally, if you want to take things up a notch, try experimenting with different flavors of dulce de leche such as chocolate or coffee. You may add cocoa powder or espresso powder respectively after combining milk and sugar mixture in saucepan before simmering.

By following these simple tips, you will be able to create delicious Dulce De Leche recipe each time. Enjoy your homemade Dulce De Leche as a topping on ice cream, garnish over cheesecake or Tres Leches Cake or spread over toast, graham crackers or just have it by the spoonful. Let your creativity take over and experiment with this traditional Argentine dessert in as many ways as you can imagine!


Before we wrap things up, let me answer some of the questions you may have about this dulce de leche recipe. Here are some frequently asked questions that could help you achieve that perfect texture, flavor, and consistency. So, without further ado, let’s dive into these FAQs!

What is the difference between dulce de leche and caramel?

The flavors and textures of caramel and dulce de leche may appear similar, but the methods of preparing them are quite distinct. Caramel is made by slowly heating and caramelizing water and sugar, while dulce de leche requires a slow, gentle simmer of milk and sugar until it transforms into a rich and smooth caramelized substance.

What two basic ingredients does dulce de leche contain?

A sweet treat known as dulce de leche can be created by combining milk and sugar, with the option to include vanilla and salt for added flavor.

Is dulce de leche the same as condensed milk?

To make a creamy and delicious caramel sauce, all you need is sweetened condensed milk. This magical ingredient can transform into dulce de leche, a thick and rich caramel sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over ice cream or spreading on toast.

Can you use dulce de leche straight from the can?

Dulce de leche is a delectable treat that can be savored as is or used to enhance the flavor of various desserts. It can be enjoyed on its own by spooning it out of the can, but it can also be used as a topping for ice cream, incorporated into homemade ice cream, or as a filling for cakes, brownies, or cookies.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Dulce De Leche Recipe is a must-try for both Brazilian and American cuisine lovers alike. It is easy to make, requires only a handful of ingredients, and the end result is simply irresistible. Whether you want to use it as a topping for ice cream, cakes, cheesecakes or any other dessert, this recipe is versatile and can be used in many different ways.

I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try and see for yourself how amazing it tastes. You won’t believe that something so delicious could be made so easily in your own kitchen. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different variations such as adding cinnamon or sea salt to enhance the flavor even more.

Remember that cooking is an art and that every recipe has the potential to be unique with its own twist. So grab some sweetened condensed milk, vanilla bean and baking soda and start making your homemade Dulce De Leche today! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Good Eats Dulce De Leche

Good Eats Dulce De Leche Recipe

I love dulce de leche. Here is Alton's way of making it, from the Milk Made episode.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine South American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1912 kcal


  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 12 ounces sugar, by weight (approximately 1.5 cups)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1318gCalories: 1912kcalCarbohydrates: 387gProtein: 30.7gFat: 31.7gSaturated Fat: 18.2gCholesterol: 97.6mgSodium: 1052.4mgSugar: 388.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Easy, South American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found



Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.